Yesterday was supposed to be a good day. I woke up knowing that the Senators were looking to extend their eleven game win streak in Toronto, home of the 29th ranked team in the NHL that had just dealt away 40-percent of its offence earlier in the week. On paper, it looked like an easy win and ultimately, it's what lead to me submitting my 3-2 victory prediction for Ottawa in time for James Gordon's Friday night prediction panel deadline. Little did I know that the events leading up to the game would spiral out of control and stack the deck unfavorably against the Senators.
The first sign that things were going to wrong occurred as I was doing my morning errands and was driving behind an Aztek with novelty license plate that read SENSRULE. Whether there's some mysterious correlation between the two is completely subjective. However, this is second time that this has happened within the past season, so I'll be damned if there isn't something more to this coincidence.
When I arrived home after running my errands, the first thing that I did was to sit down with my laptop and peruse the interwebs to keep up with the latest hockey news. It didn't take very long to find out that Brian Burke's son was tragically killed in a fatal car accident on Friday night and that JS Giguere would be starting in nets for the Leafs. So not only would the Leafs have the sentimental karma working in their favour, they were starting the guy who absolutely killed us in the '07 Cup Finals. Not only is Giguere equipped like the Michelin man, he's the latest in a lineup of goalies who have killed the Senators over the years. (Ie. Tim Thomas, Ed Belfour, Curtis Joseph, Martin Gerber, et al.) And to make matters worse, he was acquired earlier in the week and was stuck in that proving himself to his new team and teammates mode.
Naturally, as I surfed the 'Net, I also sifted through my email wherein I found this message in my inbox...
Morning gents...if you were wondering why your picks aren’t posted yet after I asked for them by 10 pm yesterday, it’s because my laptop is fried. Apparently I have what’s called the “Blue Screen of Death,” which sounds pretty bad.
Anyways, I’m at the office posting stuff now. ~ James Gordon
The Blue Screen of Death?! How could things get any worse?
Three words...Bob. Fucking. Cole.
As the Montreal Canadiens played earlier in the afternoon and the CBC didn't schedule the senile wonder to do the play-by-play, hockey fans quickly deduced that Bob Cole would be calling the Leafs versus Senators game later that evening. In other words, Senators fans would have to soul search for a reason not to stab themselves in the ears since Cole is notorious for his disregard in using the correct Senators player names while he calls the action.
There you have it: A novelty license plate; the sentimental aspect of the Leafs winning one for Burkie; the Blue Screen of Death; JS Giguere; and Bob.Fucking.Cole. Last night's outcome was determined before the puck was even dropped and the referees were allowed to affect the outcome of last night's game. So when I get emails from Leafs fans claiming to be Ron Wilson that say,
Good prediction. Let me guess, you're still holding Nortel stock... or worse yet ... Senators season tickets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5-0 flattered the Sens
we're getting tired of owning you...
I'm compelled to say that he's right. This Leafs fan deserves to be one smug prick. Not only did his team's chance at the postseason increase from 0.0% to 0.1% after last night's win, he's correct in asserting that I shouldn't have bet against the Leafs.
So yes, go ahead and revel in yesterday's trivial win over a team that had lost the game before it had even started. (Ed. note: Like Ian Mendes mentioned in yesterday's prediction panel, it's unbelievable how often the Leafs hold meaningless things over Senators fans. Four playoff series wins? Fantastic. Congratulations on floundering out in each of the subsequent playoff series.) Unfortunately because of emails like this, I'll have to comfort myself in the fact that the likelihood of Ottawa making a postseason appearance is now at 97.8%.